08/10/2015 04:38 EDT | Updated 08/10/2015 04:59 EDT

The Biggest Movies At TIFF 2015

Toronto is going to be awash in star power come September.

As TIFF 2015 approaches — the dates this year are Sept. 10 to 20 — the excitement keeps building for the anticipated films. With hundreds of movies being shown around Toronto during the film festival, it's hard to know where to start. So we'll begin with the big ones.

So far, 15 red carpet galas have been announced, as well as 34 special presentations (which usually involve big names and world premieres), with more expected in the coming weeks.

We've rounded up some of the highlights below, and will keep adding as the announcements keep coming.

And we'll admit, we were more than a little swayed by star power in putting together this highlight reel, but would like to point out that the best films at TIFF are often the small ones that you simply won't see anywhere else. So when you can't get tickets for Matt Damon's gala, remember there's another 20 films just waiting for you to watch them.

Beasts Of No Nation

Director: Cary Fukunaga

Stars: Idris Elba

The buzz: "Beasts will get a simultaneous theatrical rollout alongside its Netflix premiere, and if Idris Elba plays the role of child-snatching warlord with half the intensity we know he's capable of, it's not crazy to think he could garner the streaming service's first Academy Award nomination." —Wired

World Premiere

Beeba Boys

Director: Deepa Mehta

Stars: Randeep Hooda

The buzz: "It talks about racism, discrimination, the frustration of being marginalised in a white country but at the end, it's a family story. All gangsters are family men." —Mumbai Mirror

World Premiere

Black Mass

Director: Scott Cooper

Stars: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rory Cochrane, Jesse Plemons, Kevin Bacon, Dakota Johnson, Julianne Nicholson, Corey Stoll, Peter Sarsgaard

The buzz: "With those cool blue eyes, and that calm, gravelly tone of voice, Depp is totally transformed here. It reminds you of what he can do when he's not just putting on silly hats and affected accents." —Cinema Blend


Director: John Crowley

Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters

The buzz: "Brooklyn' unfolds almost like a prim Victorian novel, presenting a young Irish woman, nobly brought to life by Saoirse Ronan, torn between two lovers..." —Variety

The Danish Girl

Director: Tom Hooper

Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Amber Heard, Sebastian Koch, Ben Whishaw, Matthias Schoenaerts

The buzz: "The film, costarring Alicia Vikander and Amber Heard, will mark yet another ambitious performance for Redmayne, who seems intent on pushing his talent to the limits with each film." —Screen Rant


Director: Jean-Marc Vallée

Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper

The buzz: It's the world premiere of the film by the Quebec director who previously directed "Dallas Buyers Club"

The Dressmaker

Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse

Stars: Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth

The buzz: "Moorhouse has described [it] as '"Unforgiven" with a sewing machine.'" —Variety

World Premiere

Eye In The Sky

Director: Gavin Hood

Stars: Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, Aaron Paul

The buzz: "The hot button thriller follows the complicated chain of authority that is firmly yanked when a new wrinkle enters a drone mission." —Empire Online

World Premiere


Director: John Cassar

Stars: Kiefer and Donald Sutherland

The buzz: "In the film, Kiefer is John Henry Clayton, who returns home to the family ranch after a lengthy estrangement from his preacher father, played by Donald." —The Toronto Star

World Premiere


Director: Peter Sollett

Stars: Ellen Page, Julianne Moore, Steve Carell, Michael Shannon

The buzz: "A moving drama starring Ellen Page and Julianne Moore as domestic partners. The story focuses on their struggle to keep a pension intact when Laurel Hester, played by Julianne Moore, is diagnosed with cancer." —First Showing

World Premiere

Hyena Road

Director: Paul Gross

Stars: Paul Gross, Rossif Sutherland

The buzz: "Gross wrote, directed and stars in the modern war drama, which is about Canadian snipers and intelligence officers in Afghanistan." —Calgary Herald

World Premiere

I Smile Back

Director: Adam Salky

Stars: Sarah Silverman, Josh Charles, Thomas Sadoski, Mia Barron, Terry Kinney, Chris Sarandon

The buzz: "Sarah Silverman takes a decidedly dark turn in director Adam Salky's unflinching look at a wife and mother's battle with self-destructive depression." —Hollywood Reporter


Director: Brian Helgeland

Stars: Tom Hardy

The buzz: "A story about two twin brother gangsters from London, played by Tom Hardy. Both of 'em!" —First Showing

World Premiere

The Lobster

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Stars: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw

The buzz: "For most of its two-hour running time, 'The Lobster' is seriously twisted and seriously funny." —The Wrap


Director: Julie Delpy

Stars: Julie Delpy

The buzz: "This film deals with universal themes: We have a relationship between two people who come from opposite worlds but are drawn to each other; and we also touch on in a humorous way the issues that single mothers in their 40s face when looking for love." —Variety

The Man Who Knew Infinity

Director: Matthew Brown

Stars: Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Stephen Fry

The buzz: "It's the story of a man who overcame incredible obstacles to become one of the most important mathematicians of his day. It's a great human story. It's true. And I'm glad that the world is finally going to get to enjoy it." —Variety

World Premiere

The Martian

Director: Ridley Scott

Stars: Matt Damon, Kate Mara, Jessica Chastain, Michael Pena, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels

The buzz: "The Martian tells the story of astronaut Mark Watney, who is presumed dead after a storm on the planet and left behind by the crew. Left with limited supplies and resources, Watney has to find a way to survive on the Mars, contact NASA and wait to be rescued." —BGR

World Premiere

The Program

Director: Stephen Frears

Stars: Ben Foster, Chris O'Dowd, Dustin Hoffman

The buzz: "Of the various Lance Armstrong movies to go into development, the first and so far only one to be produced has been directed by Stephen Frears and scripted by John Hodge, still best known as the screenwriter of Trainspotting." —Film Divider

World Premiere


Director: Atom Egoyan

Stars: Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, Dean Norris

The buzz: "This is one that has Oscar bait potential, and could see Plummer make a run at a second Oscar." —Deadline

Septembers Of Shiraz

Director: Wayne Blair

Stars: Salma Hayek, Adrien Brody, Shohreh Aghdashloo

The buzz: "The story relays the true story of a secular Jewish family caught in the Islamic revolution in Iran, and their heroic journey to escape from the tyranny sweeping their country." —Film Ink

World Premiere


Director: Tom McCarthy

Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci, Brian d'Arcy James, Billy Crudup

The buzz: "Spotlight will bring the story of the Pultizer Prize winning Boston Globe's investigation to life." —Geeks of Doom

International Premiere


Director: Roland Emmerich

Stars: n/a

The buzz: "To Emmerich's credit, it looks like the film won't be shrinking away by the conflicts within the gay rights movement itself, as well as against authority figures which tried to shut the Stonewall Inn down." —Screen Rant

World Premiere


Director: Florian Gallenberger

Stars: Emma Watson and Daniel Brühl

The buzz: "Formerly titled Colonia Dignidad, Colonia stars Watson and Bruhl as Lena and Daniel, a young German couple swept up the 1973 Chilean coup." —I Am Rogue

World Premiere


Director: Jonás Cuarón

Stars: Gael Garcia Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan

The buzz: "Cuarón will be directing from a script he co-wrote with Mateo Garcia, with the director producing alongside his father and Gravity collaborator Alfonso Cuarón, Carlos Cuarón, and Alex Garcia, with Bernal executive producing." —Hey U Guys

World Premiere

Families (Belles Familles)

Director: Jean-Paul Rappeneau

Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Marine Vacth, Gilles Lellouche

The buzz: "Back after 11 years off the scene, the award winning director has brought together a scintillating cast led by Mathieu Amalric." —CineEuropa

World Premiere

The Family Fang

Director: Jason Bateman

Stars: Nicole Kidman, Jason Bateman, Christopher Walken

The buzz: "The novel The Family Fang has been described as The Royal Tennenbaums meets Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? So, it seems the brand of edgy comedy that Bateman forged with Bad Words is a fantastic starting point." —Cinema Blend

World Premiere

Guilty (Talvar)

Director: Meghna Gulzar

Stars: Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sensharma, Neeraj Kabi, Sohum Shah, Gajraj Rao, Atul Kumar, Tabu

The buzz: "Going by the pulse in the festival circuit, there appears to be a demand for Talvar with the Cairo International Film Festival in November evincing an interest in it." —Hindustan Times

World Premiere

The Idol (Ya Tayr El Tayer)

Director: Hany Abu-Assad

Stars: Qais Atallah, Hiba Atallah, Ahmad Qassim, Abdelkarim Abu Baraka, Tawfeek Barhom, Saber Shreim, Ahmed Al Rokh, Nadine Labaki

The buzz: "From refugee camps to the world of Arab Idol, Mohammed Assaf's story continues to travel. Its latest destination? The silver screen." —Arab News

World Premiere

The Lady in the Van

Director: Nicolas Hytner

Stars: Maggie Smith, Dominic Cooper, James Corden

The buzz: "Oscar winning actress Maggie Smith plays Miss Shepherd, a character she has played before on stage and on the radio, and she looks like quite a hoot." —First Showing

World Premiere

Maggie's Plan

Director: Rebecca Miller

Stars: Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Travis Fimmel, Ida Rohatyn, Wallace Shawn, Julianne Moore

The buzz: "The film, based on a story by Karen Rinaldi, is a screwball take on the fluctuations of modern love that 'puts a new spin on the romantic comedy.'" —Variety

World Premiere


Director: Leena Yadav

Stars: Tannishtha Chatterjee, Radhika Apte, Surveen Chawla, Adil Hussain, Lehar Khan, Riddhi Sen, Mahesh Balraj, Chandan Anand

The buzz: "Parched is written and directed by Yadav, whose credits include 2010's Teen Patti, which starred Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan and Ben Kingsley." —Hollywood Reporter

World Premiere


Director: Lenny Abrahamson

Stars: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers, William H Macy

The buzz: "Exploring the boundless love between mother and child... this will definitely throw you for a loop." —First Showing

Sunset Song

Director: Terence Davies

Stars: Agyness Deyn, Peter Mullan, Kevin Guthrie

The buzz: "Deyn plays Chris Guthrie, a young woman coming of age as her family is beset by tragedy." —Empire Online

World Premiere


Director: Jay Roach

Stars: Bryan Cranston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Louis C.K., Elle Fanning, John Goodman, Diane Lane, Alan Tudyk, Michael Stuhlbarg, Helen Mirren

The buzz: "With a post-Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston in the lead role and a storyline that delves into the worst excesses of the anti-communist McCarthy era, the biopic Trumbo always had the potential for awards-season success." —The Guardian

World Premiere

Where to Invade Next

Director: Michael Moore

Stars: Michael Moore

The buzz: "Where To Invade Next could be Moore's funniest film for years, as he's very insistent that it is layered in satire." —Cinema Blend

World Premiere


Director: Paolo Sorrentino

Stars: Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, Jane Fonda

The buzz: "A film about old artists by a much younger man, Paolo Sorrentino's second English-language feature is an immeasurable improvement on his it takes on potentially heavy material in a disarmingly whimsical, intelligent and keen-witted manner." —Hollywood Reporter

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